Thursday, August 31, 2006

No Posts Friday and Monday

I will be visiting my home in St. Louis this Labor Day weekend. I will be far too busy enjoying Ted Drews frozen custard with my family to even think about posting. Have a happy holiday.

Calling All Mashups

I am going to be writing a paper on mashups for medical libraries. So I am interested in any medical/health related mashups and any library mashups. The holy grail for me would be for somebody to direct me to a medical library mashup.

For those of you unfamiliar with mashups.... Wikipedia defines a mashup as "a website or Web 2.0 application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new service." The most common mashups people often use (probably without even knowing they are using a mashup) are mapping mashups. Some examples of mashup maps are: U.S. Fast Food Map, and CraigsList Housing. However, mashups can be created for a variety of things such as Podbop , 4isbn, and (which I mentioned Aug. 7, 2006)

So please, if you know (or have created) any mashups that would be helpful in bio-medicine, medicine, health, libraries, or medical libraries. Please leave a comment or email me: mak1173[at] yahoo[dot]com .

OUP Report (Full Year) on Oxford Open Results

Excerpts from the press release:
  • Almost 400 OA papers have been published, in 36 of the 49 journals that are participating in Oxford Open.
  • The majority of uptake of optional open access has, as predicted, been in the life sciences, with approximately 10% of authors selecting the open access option across 16 participating journals in this area, compared with approximately 5% in medicine and public health, and 3% in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Three life sciences titles in the areas of molecular and computational biology have seen over 20% uptake. The highest of these was for Bioinformatics, which has published over 50 open access papers in 2006.
  • The online subscription prices of 3 journals (Bioinformatics, Carcinogenesis and Human Molecular Genetics) have been adjusted for 2007 to reflect how much original research material was made freely available in the first phase of the initiative in 2005-2006.
  • Oxford Journals will continue to offer optional open access to the 49 participating journals for 2007, in addition to continuing its other experiments with open access with Nucleic Acids Research(NAR), Journal of Experimental Botany, and Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ECAM). It also expects further journals to join the initiative over the coming year.
It is interesting to see that the 2007 online subscription costs for three journals will be adjusted to reflect the number of freely available articles these publications contained in 2005-2006.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What's Fair About Confidential Pricing?

I blogged last Wednesday about an email on SERIALST regarding Nature's license terms containing a pricing confidentiality clause. (Section 8.5 of the Terms) The librarian who first emailed SERIALST about this later on announced to the listserv saying his Nature sales rep told him the negotiated version of his license will no longer include language about price confidentiality. Furthermore, Nature will be posting its prices publicly as of September 1, 2006.

Apparently Nature's pricing and confidentiality clause is also being discussed on liblicense-l. Sally Morris's comment that "making the price actually negotiated would be most unfair to the vendor, wouldn't it?" led to T. Scott writing about the issue of fairness and confidential pricing on his blog. He sums it up saying "I don't expect publishers who rely on negotiated pricing to bend much on confidentiality as long as they believe it is in their best interest. But it's a business decision. It's got nothing to do with fairness."


PDA's in Libraries: Colleen Cuddy Webcast

Infoblog has the audio to Colleen Cuddy's webcast, Using PDA's in Libraries which was originally broadcast July 18, 2006.

Colleen Cuddy currently is the Assistant Director for Library Systems at the Ehrman Medical Library, New York University where she leads the library in PDA implementation as well as directing the library's integrated library system and the NYU School of Medicine's Alumni Digital Library. She is the author of Using PDAs in Libraries: A How to Do It Manual (Neal Schumann, 2005).

For more information on the topic and archived PowerPoint slides and handouts go to:
There is a blue box indicating the webcast is archived, however when I logged in (it says you don't need a password it just asks for you first name) I was unable to find the presentation listed.

If you are interested in the webcast you can view the PowerPoint slides and listen to the audio from Infoblog.


As more and more libraries are renewing their database offerings, more people are looking at CINAHL from EBSCO. So I draw your attention to the Electronic Resources Review in JMLA, CINAHL Plus (free online) by Maureen (Molly) Knapp. J Med Libr Assoc. 2006 July; 94(3): 355–356. For people who are interested in a direct comparison of CINAHLacrosss platforms, check out, Comparison of CINAHL via EBSCOhost,: Ovid, and ProQuest (subscription required), by Melody M Allison. Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries vol 3 (1) 2006 31 - 50.

Finally don't forget to sign up for the CINAHL email list group, which I mentioned last month. This list was created by the UBC librarians as an area for people to discuss their thoughts, concerns, experiences, and opinionsregardingg the EBSCO and Ovid versions of CINAHL

To subscribe to the list send an email to: [email protected]Include the following command in the body of your email message:subscribe lib-cinahl your email addressi.e. subscribe lib-cinahl [email protected]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Technology and Money

I recently finished a grant request to help my library purchase Ebsco's A-Z Article Linker for three years, hopefully I will get it. Then my plan for world domination....err I mean my plan for the library to be more electronically accessible and useful will be comming together. My first step was an online catalog and thanks to CyberTools we are in our first full year of having an online catalog, my patrons and I couldn't be happier. My second step is to provide an easy, logical method to access electronic journals (easier said than done). I would like to get Athens Eduserv to provide off campus access to our resources. Eventually, if I get wild crazy I would like to add electronic document delivery (Illiad / Odyssey).

Of course all of these things take money and my regular budget can not always accomdate these things. So I went looking for external funding and I ran across the Library Grants blog which gives information on grants and funding opportunities for libraries. It covers all areas of librarianship (public, special, medical, school, etc.) and all types of programs. There are other opportunities through your NLM Regions.
GMR has the Technology Improvement Award available to members for the purchase, installation, and/or upgrading of information technologies that enhance access to health information.
New England Region has technology awards for network members are Technology Awareness, Internet Connectivity, and Electronic Document Delivery.
SCR has grants for Access to Electronic Consumer Health Information, Information Access Improvement Project Award, Library Technology Award, and MedlinePlus Go Local.
The Pacific Southwest region has grants for MedlinePlus Go Local and Library Improvement Program.
The Pacific Northwest region has awards for Electronic Document Delivery Awards and comming soon: MedlinePlus Go Local Award, Connectivity Awards, and E-resource License Awards.

There are many more awards and grants out there that you could look into to help defer the cost of bringing your library more up to date with technology. Now if we can just work on getting our IT departments to allow these technologies (that we see the Library 2.0 people pushing) to be implemented in our library we will be cooking with fire.

Monday, August 28, 2006

PodZinger Updates

For those of you looking for podcasts PodZinger allows you to search for a podcast from its program transcription. ResearchBuzz previously reviewed PodZinger last Februrary and sheds some light on some new updates since that review. Scope: You can search PodZinger for more than a quarter million audio and video programs in English and Spanish. What's Hot: PodZinger now features the Zing Index, which enables you to see the most viewed podcasts.

NLM RSS Feeds and Podcasts List

A list of NLM RSS Feeds and Podcasts is now available at

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Your New House Staff or Your 3rd Year Medical Students

"Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you." Keeps playing in a loop in my head. Yesterday I heard on the news that the according to Beloit College's Mindset list, today's incomming freshman (class of 2010 already) who were born in 1988 have only known two presidents, the Soviet Union never existed, and there has always been only one Germany.

That got me thinking, many of our new house staff and third year medical students were born in 1981, do we know what their cultural frame of reference is? Here are some insights into mindset of your new medical library users, courtesy of Beloit College.

  • They are the first generation to be born into Luvs, Huggies, and Pampers.
  • John Lennon and John Belushi have always been dead.
  • There has always been a woman on the Supreme Court, and women have always been traveling into space.
  • They were born and grew up with Microsoft, IBM PCs, in-line skates, NutraSweet, fax machines, film on disks, and unregulated quantities of commercial interruptions on television.
  • While they all know her children, they have no idea who "Ma Bell" was.
  • They never knew Madonna when she was like a virgin.
  • They have never had to worry about the packaging of Tylenol.
  • Yugoslavia has never existed.
  • The moonwalk is a Michael Jackson dance step, not a Neil Armstrong giant step.
  • President Kennedy's assassination is as significant to them as that of Lincoln or Garfield.

So what does this mean? Well think about your library, your services, your classes, etc. If you still have a card catalog don't be shocked if they look at it like it might bite them and have no idea how to find books. Are your services such as copying and delivering (by mail or hand) the table of contents valuable to them, or do they expect to get that stuff delivered to them online? What kind of search examples are you using in your class, are they outdated for their mindset. Remember AIDS was just starting to be discovered in 1981 and CDC generally referred to it by referencing the diseases that were occurring, for example lymphadenopathy (swollen glands), although sometimes it was referred to as KSOI (Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections), and others medical professionals refered to it as "gay-related immune deficiency" or "gay compromise syndrome" (1981 Lancet, 2 1338-1339). Most of these new users have known AIDS as a pandemic, the flu is just something that is a threat to young, old, and immuno compromised patients. Only with the emergence of the H5N1 bird flu might they be aware of the devastating potential of the flu.

I am not saying, "Out with old and in with the new." Heck you probably have many "older" patrons who use your services too. I am just mentioning that by keeping an eye on the mindset of your patrons you can evolve and continue to provide products and services that are relevant to them and to future patrons.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Send Me Your Hospital Library Blogs

Alexia Estabrook sent a mesage through Medlib-l asking for examples of any hospital libraries that are using blogs (not hospital librarians) to use in presentation where she will discuss and show real life examples (live or screen shots) of hospital blogs. I am going to second her call for hospital library blog examples.

I posed the same question on Medlib-l a little while ago when I wrote the article The Use of Blogs in Medical Libraries, for the Journal of Hospital Librarianship. At the time, I did receive a few responses but those were mainly from academic medical libraries. I realize that most hospital libraries might be developing blogs on their hospital intranet site, and we (the public) cannot see them and learn from them. We would like to know what you are doing so that we can share it with others who can learn from it.

So if you have a hospital library blog that you would like to share please email me or Alexia.

Nature Prices Confidential?

An email on SERIALST today mentioned that with the recently announced open access to archival content, Nature is asking institutions to sign a new version of the license agreement for 2007. The email said their sales rep said the new license is to "to guarantee that you have access if you need to cancel." However, the librarian noticed another new item in the license agreement. Apparently there is a confidentiality clause in the agreement for pricing and license terms, meaning if you instituion agrees, then public discussion (email lists, blogs, chatting, etc.) of Nature's pricing is gone.

My little hospital library does not have Nature, so I can not confirm this part of the license agreement. If this is true, then what does that mean for the future of electronic resources and libraries? Just curious.

The librarian who asked about the confidentiality clause announced that his Nature sales rep told him the negotiated version of his license will no longer include language about pricing confidentiality -- and that, furthermore, Nature will be posting its prices publicly as of September 1 of this year.

Listen to the Doctor . . . on Your iPod

According to the Washington Post, there are "2,000 health-related podcasts, ranging from the monotone weekly audio summary of the New England Journal of Medicine to the mellow sounds of the Marijuana Memo." That is a lot of programming and that is why I think there needs to be concerted effort on the part of somebody (librarians, computer geeks, the medical community, little green ailens...) to organize this mass of multimedia into something searchable and usable.

As I have mentioned earlier my medical podcast list which was an inelegant word document has become too large a list to maintain. So I am looking at alternative ways to create a manageable database, list, website or something to make sense of all of this. One thing is for sure, podcasting is not just a fad anymore.

Dissect Medicine and BioWizard

Ooh this is why I love blogs. David Rothman read by blog about Dissect Medicine and he then went the extra step to look at it and compare it to BioWizard which like Dissect Medicine uses model of to Medical Literature. Thanks David for the comparison.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dissect Medicine and Medical News Website

(Courtesy of Peter Scott)
Dissect Medicine is a collaborative medical news website, which indexes and ranks international medical news. It spans general interest articles to basic research. Dissect Medicine users submit news items for review with tags and keywords. These are then ranked by the user group. Dissect Medicine is a joint initiative of Macmillan Medical Communications and Nature Clinical Practice, the medical publishing arm of Nature Publishing Group. For quick overview of all the latest medical news, registration is not needed. To post links to stories or vote you must be a registered user. Registration is free.

The idea behind Dissect Medicine come from the technology news website, Dissect Medicine features and functionality are targeted for the specific needs of the medical community. RSS feeds are available, so you can read the latest medical news from your feed reader. Using the feeds you could have headlines display in the "news" section of your library web page.

Public Library Joins National Medical Library Network

The Queens Borough Public Library (QBPL), NY, has become the first public library to be named a resource library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. QBPL will offer special programming and gain access to additional resources usually available to university medical school libraries. QBPL already has access to DOCLINE and partnerships with Queens Health Network, American Cancer Society, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. For more information go to Library Journal.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Five Weeks to a Social Library

(courtesy LITA-L)
You can't register yet, they are currently looking for presenters. However, if you are interested in attending keep your eyes open to register.

Five Weeks to a Social LibraryLocation: Online
Dates: February 12 - March 17, 2006

Five Weeks to a Social Library, the first free, grassroots, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries. The course was developed to provide a free, comprehensive, and social online learning opportunity for librarians who do not otherwise have access to conferences or continuing education and who would benefit greatly from learning about social software. The course will take place in Drupal and on a MediaWiki installation, and will also involve a variety of other popular social software tools. The course will make use of synchronous components, with one or two weekly Webcasts and many IM chat sessions being made available to students each week. The course will culminate in each student developing a proposal for implementing a specific social software tool in their library.

The course will take place between February 12 and March 17 and will be limited to forty participants. However, course content will be freely viewable to interested parties and all live Webcasts will be archived for later viewing.

Presenters Needed!
They are currently welcoming proposals for live presentations and course content on the following topics:
Social Networking Software and SecondLife
Social Bookmarking Software
Selling Social Software @ Your Library (no live Webcasts on this topic)

Presentations are to be as practical and useful to as wide a library-related audience as possible. Preference will be given to presentations that 1) are very "nuts-and-bolts" or 2) describe a successful use of the technology that could be replicated in different types of libraries.

They are looking for presentations in the following formats:
Webcast – a one-hour live online Webcast that will be archived.
Screencast/Vodcast – no more than 30 minutes (please note: most commercial screencasting software offer a 30-day free trial).
Podcast – we welcome proposals for podcast presentations, podcast interviews with innovators in the field or podcast discussions between innovators in the field.
Text presentations – we will accept a very limited number of text presentations, but we greatly prefer presentations that incorporate audio and video.

In addition to developing a presentation, presenters must also make themselves available via AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for questions from students for one-hour during the week their presentation is shown.

All presentations will be made available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Format of Proposal: 250 – 500 words, written. Proposals are a way for the review team to assess your contribution quickly. Please do not submit full presentations.

Proposals should include the following:
Full name of presenter
E-mail address of presenter
Web-site and/or blog URL of presenter
IM screenname(s)
Institutional affiliation
Brief biographical information (under 150 words)
Include same personal information as above for any additional presenters after the lead presenter (if applicable)
Presentation title
Format(s) you are willing to present in (if you are flexible about the format you are willing to present in, please note that)
Presentation Abstract (250 – 500 words)

Proposals must be submitted by September 22, 2006 via e-mail to [email protected]. Any questions about the CFP process can be addressed to the Planning Committee at [email protected].
Proposal Review: Proposals will be reviewed by the planning committee, notification of proposal acceptance: October 1, 2006.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Other Opportunities to Get Involved in MLA

The bevy of emails going back and for on the Hls-list seems to indicated that there quite a few of us out there who have opinions on MLA, our involvement, meetings, and programming. So it was very timely that the recent issue of MLA Focus lists two more opportunities for people to help shape MLA and give back to their profession.

Participate in MLA's Upcoming Web-based Election

MLA is preparing for the 2007 election, to be conducted online from November 7-December 12, 2006. All current voting members will receive voting instructions via email at the address on file at MLA. They are asking taht members visit the Online Member Directory, under "Search MLA Directory", to confirm or update your email address. Updates must be made by September 15. You will need your MLANET username/ID and password to enter this members-only section. If you can't remember or locate your ID and password (printed on your membership card), email MLA Membership Services, and it will be sent to you.

Institutional, regular, and student members are allowed to vote, so if you aren't a member you need to join to participate.

Send Your Ideas for CE Courses and Symposia at MLA '08

MLA is now accepting ideas for exciting and innovative courses and symposia to offer at MLA '08 in Chicago. Suggestions must be submitted by Friday, December 15, 2006, for consideration by the MLA Continuing Education Committee (CEC) at its midwinter meeting in January 2007. More information and forms are available on MLANET.

If you have a great idea about programming submit it!

Chapter Meetings
Finally, for those of you belong to the Midwest Chapter and Western MLA Chapters, don't forget about their meetings. Go to the links and check out their programming and register.

Registration Open for Midwest Chapter's annual meeting, in Louisville, KY, October 7-11. Western Chapters of MLA Early-Bird Registration Ends Sept. 15 for the meeting in Seattle, October 14-17.

Should Google Pay Librarians for their Work in Google Co-op Health

Yesterday, I posted an email from Howard Fuller, Stanford librarian, who is coordinating a group of qualified medical librarians to volunteer with Google Co-op Health. In Dean Giustini's recent post, he believes that Google, whose profits he compares to that of a "small country," should buck up and employ librarians like Microsoft. "Why can't Google hire some librarians like Microsoft does? It's a fair question: should professional librarians volunteer to do the work of the new knowledge economy for gratis? If our new graduates can't get decent salaries, from companies like Google we are in big trouble."

Interesting thought. I admit it never occurred to me. Librarians often complain we are not asked to participate in these type of endeavors, are we just too eager for our own good? Or do you think if we stand up for ourselves and asked to paid that they will seek our services from other professionals who will do it for free and leave us out of the loop? Are we in a damned if we do and damned if we don't scenario? This instance is with Google, but this happens elsewhere. What are your opinions?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Google Co-op Health Wants Librarians

(forwarded from Hls-list)
As many of you know Google maintains a platform which it refers to as Google Co-op which "enables you to use your expertise to help other users find information." One of the co-op sections deals with health information and MLA is pulling together a small team of members to recommend quality health sites that will carry the MLA stamp of approval. Initially, CAPHIS has been asked to lead this project and I am looking for about 20 members (MLA, not necessarily CAPHIS) who are interested in selecting site for Google co-op health. I am asking each project volunteer commit 45-60 minutes per week for six months. Please contact me directly at [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to join the MLA Google co-op team. Please explore the Google co-op web pages to learn more about this project( Please do not volunteer unless you know you have the time to commit to this project.
Thank you,
Howard Fuller, CAPHIS section chair [email protected]

Hospital Librarian Needs and MLA

Wow the Hls-list is on fire! I rarely get this many emails a day from it, usually the Medlib list is responsible for the bulk of my inbox messages. So what has got the Hls-list people all speaking?
It all started from a little email from Cathy Boss surveying hospital librarians asking if they are planning to attend the 2007 MLA annual meeting whether they would be interested in attending a symposium on open access.

Thomas Hill had a very interesting response regarding a symposium on open access.

No, that would be at about the bottom of the list of what I feel hospital libraries need. We need programming on: 1. how libraries support clinical care, i.e., are part of the support of the hospital's income stream; 2. what are the myriad of research pieces hospital libraries need to conduct to help create the full picture of what we do to support the hospital's bottom line; 3. how hospital libraries can choose a piece to research, develop a research project, accomplish it, and get it published to the library world so we can start to assemble the picture; 4. what are things like Zoomerang and SurveyMonkey that we can use; 5. how can hospital libraries get more value from MLA and meaningful requirements for JCAHO; 6. what are standards of service or performance hospital libraries need to benchmark with others; 7. how do we hospital libraries get NLM to respond to our needs by CONSULTING and ASKING us BEFORE they implement such
things as the new AbstractPlus format?

In other words, I find MLA more irrelevant to our survival and lacking in support and impact for what we need. MLA seems dominated by the large academic medical centers and open access is their concern. I have not attended the last several MLA meetings because the programming has been irrelevant to us.

We can use such things as "Information searching by the millennials," "Creation and use of
blogs and rss feeds in the hospital setting: is it possible, how do you communicate with IT departments about it?", "Firewalls and ways around, over or under them", "Consortium resource purchasing: making it work." "What federated search products really work for the hospital library, and can we afford them, can we afford not to have them?"

My real concern, however, is that hospital libraries MUST show we support patient/clinical care, that we support the income generation of the hospital. Otherwise, we are an easy way to cut and save the hospital $100s of thousands of dollars because there is so much freely available on the internet.

Many other list members are echoing Thomas's thoughts. I agree with a lot of what Thomas has to say and if I haven't been on my soap box too long regarding JCAHO comments, permit me to climb back on and utter my .02 cents as well.

1. We need help and information on how libraries support clinical care and a part of the hospitals income stream. Many hospital librarians at MLA this year did a great job at providing information on how to justify our expenses and look at our programs/products/services in terms of administrators understand namely return of investment. For example a new updated study similar to "The contribution of hospital library information services to clinical care: a study in eight hospitals" by King. (Bulletin of the Medical Library Association. 1987, v75 (4) 489-95. Or we could use a tool kit on how we can physically show how we effect clinical care through numbers and facts, not just anecdotes.

2. We as hospital librarians need to find the time to contribute and participate in MLA, our organization. Margaret Bandy noted in her reply on the Hls-list, "Hospital librarians are the largest block of members in MLA, but as Tovah Reis, Section Council Chair has noted, underrepresented on section council because of the limited number who join other sections and thus exert influence." If we are the largest block of members then our participation is ever more important so we can get the programming and support we need. If we are lame duck members, then other more vocal and active members will influence the decisions. If you just belong to an organization but don't participate then are your gripes about the direction that organization is taking justified? Hospital librarians, get more active! Just recently (the last 2 years) I have gotten the professional courage to be more active in the medical librarian. I can't tell you how many times I have been told by other medical librarians that have commented about how wonderful it was to have the opinion and contributions from a hospital librarian. You don't have to spend your all of your free time participating, just do something. I have a life and I am participating. Added up, I spend maybe 1 hour a week of free time doing something related to medical libraries but not my job. That is one television program. How hard is it to do that!?!? The benefits far outweigh it. Heck, participate on an MLA committee

3. Communication and getting more out of MLA and NLM is really part of participation. If we don't participate how can we expect to get anything back from them. Only once we start participating and show the amount of vocal hospital librarians there are, how are we going to really have any effective communication with these organizations.

Ok I comming down from my soap box to let you know that if you are interested in hearing more about what hospital librarians are saying, follow the Hls-list at:

The Hls-list archive is available to list members at:

JCAHO Seeks Comments on Management of Information

"As part of continual efforts to improve the quality of our accreditation manuals, the Joint Commission is asking you to tell about your experiences with understanding and implementing the standards and elements of performance. The information that we gather will produce a more user-friendly manual. [They] are currently gathering comments on the following chapters from the accreditation manuals:* Management of Human Resources; * Management of Information; and * Improving Organization Performance

The three chapters listed above will be posted for comment through August 25, 2006.

Some people on MEDLIB wondered whether JCAHO will pay any attention to the feedback and whether it is worth it when compared to the results previously when "there was intense, passionate, intelligent and informed participation by medical librarians and MLA."

However, there were others who said it was our duty to respond and comment. Michelynn McKnight said, "If we can't positively explain and describe the value of our services, who can? Neither apathy nor confrontation will get us anywhere. This is a new opportunity to proclaim to a different group (yes, the composition of the decision making group changes) what we do for health care. It is our professional responsibility to do so." Jenny Garcia also said, "We have all been disappointed in JCAHO's lack of response to our efforts in the past. Not responding to this announcement will also send them a message that we like the standard just the way it is. I think they WILL pay attention to a LACK of response from us."

All too often we (librarians) complain about what has happened to us and why we can't so and so (JCAHO, MLA, NLM, Administrators, IT, etc.) to understand our needs and bang our head in frustration to understand why they did X,Y, and Z. Well here is an opportunity to be proactive and inform the powers that be about our issues. Will they listen? Who knows. But for us not to respond is a far worse. Don't complain about their actions when you do not take the time or effort to even enlighten them to your plight when they are ASKING you for feedback?!! Last time I checked they aren't mind readers.

Ok I will get down from my soap box, and just say that if you are going to give your comments, please do so BEFORE August 25, 2006. It is relatively painless and easy, Mina Davenport thought it was pretty quick. You have less than 10 days!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 Recognized as "Model of Excellence" the consumer medical search engine website, was selected by InfoCommerce Group Inc. as a 2006 InfoCommerce Models of Excellence recipient.

According to, it's unique Medically Guided Search combines the "largest known medical terminology classification system," (hmm I could be wrong but I think MeSH, developed by NLM is largest known medical terminology classification system with 22,000 descriptors and 151,000 supplementary concept headings....but who am I to question.) "developed by more than 1,100 physicians and informatics experts, with advanced search capabilities and hundreds of thousands of pages of physician-reviewed journal articles and encyclopedic information from the world's foremost medical information publishers." The MGS supposedly eliminates the time consuming process of sifting lots of irrelevant search results.

Russell Perkins, president of InfoCommerce Group, said, "I am particularly impressed by the numerous innovations in vertical search I see on the Healthline site such as an extremely detailed taxonomy that maps medical terminology to plain English; sophisticated navigation aids; a growing number of physician-reviewed articles clearly identified as such in search results; and integration of licensed and open Web content. Overall, it is a powerful package serving an important need."

Hmm Russell, you might want to take a look at MedlinePlus. A free government site which provides information from NLM, NIH, other government agencies (CDC, FDA, etc.), and health-related organizations (AHA, ACS, etc.). Preformulated MEDLINE searches are included in MedlinePlus and give easy access to millions of medical journal articles. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. Just a thought Russell.

Earlier last year (October 19, 2005) I briefly evaluated In my post I mentioned that Rita Vine at SiteLines was not impressed with HealthLine. Searching for information on lung cancer she said the site "offers little to rival the best quality ad-and-sponsorship-free medical content on the web through sites like MedlinePlus. I mentioned that comparing a search engine like HealthLine to the multi-layered (more than just a search engine)MedlinePlus.

So in light of the news that HealthLine is 2006 InfoCommerce Models of Excellence recipient, I have dug up my old review and decided to address my previous concern about site selection-specifically who is doing the selecting.

HealthLine has a more information regarding it's medical advisory board. Their medical advisory "is comprised of nationally and internationally recognized medical experts who serve to better the Healthline user experience by evaluating our website content, making recommendations on the vision and direction of the site, and providing input into Healthline's Medically Guided Search components." While I would like just a little bit more information about the grunt selectors (those on the front line not the medical advisory board) obviously it would probably be too lengthly and time consuming to list e-v-e-r-y site selector, but it would be nice to know they have X number of medical professionals across X disciplines and assortment of information professionals such as librarians, medical informatics, consumer health advocated, etc. However, the medical board who oversees the site is an impressive list of medical professionals.

I am not really big on the advertisements listed at the top and right side of the search display, I find it annoying and cluttering. However, you gotta pay the bills and the style in which they are displayed are not all that different from how Yahoo and Google display ads on their search result pages. (However, Yahoo and Google do have a nice line on separating the ads on the right hand side from search listings/content, which I think is more helpful to the eye.)

It is also important to remember that many of the sites and images found on HealthLine are also on and referenced from MedlinePlus and other government sites which can be found on many other search engines. Perhaps using HealthLine these sites are displayed more prominently in the search results than other non-medical search engines.

What is interesting to see is that both Google Co-op and HealthLine use mapping (HealthLine) or tagging (Google Co-op) to help consumers further define and broaden or narrow their search.

I still stand by my original statement in that it is a search engine similar to Yahoo in that you can search for information or browse through pre-selected topics. Unlike Yahoo, there is some filtering and quality control of information.

Monday, August 14, 2006


The Librarian in Black mentioned Meebo in a recent post on her blog. What is Meebo you ask? According to a Time magazine article Meebo is an "IM unifier. In plain English, it’s a one-stop shop for all your instant-messaging needs. Which is to say that Meebo puts all your IM clients — the individual programs that make instant-messaging services incompatible with one another — into one browser window. There’s no need to download all the different apps (MSN, AOL/ICQ, Yahoo, Jabber/Gtalk) to your computer to have any and all types of IM conversations."

According to LIB their latest "widget," MeeboMe, allows somebody to put a tiny snippet of code which in turn lets you put an IM box on your webpage that anyone can anonymously IM you. No extras are required to use it, no software, no downoads, no accounts. and it is all free way to offer IM service through your library's website. For librarians who can develop and access the code behind their web pages (lucky this could be a nice cheap alternative to providing IM reference at your hospital.

The LIB points to a Meebo post where they remark upon librarians' use of the MeeboMe: "We’ve also heard of librarians who are embedding meebo me on their library sites in order to let patrons ask reference questions…whoa!"

So like Alexia I too have decided to add MeeboMe to my blog. I would L-O-V-E to add this to my library's intranet page so that patrons who can't leave the floors could IM and I could provide some medical chat ref to those underserved users. But alas, I am one of those poor librarian souls whose hospital has chosen a content management system (specifically Microsoft CMS) which will not allow me to add or view the HTML to my little library web page. For somebody who is used to designing a library intranet site (for the same hospital system) using DreamWeaver and uploading to the webserver whenever I wanted, I feel a little neutered with my library intranet page that is little more than a glorified bulletin board.

It would be interesting to see how other libraries (any type, medical public, academic, special, you name it) are using MeeboMe and how they like it. Granted you can't do all of the fancy shmancy things like co-browse websites, but when I was doing chat ref for OhioLink the co-browsing part of the chat software never worked correctly. It always seemed lock up computers and if it launched at all. (It has been almost 2 years since I have done chat ref for OhioLink perhaps the co-browsing thing was solved.)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Open URL and RSS Feeds, Two Articles of Interest

In volume 50 (3/4 issue) The Serials Librarian has two articles that might be of interest and tie in quite well with my previous post on the Medical Library Maven adding RSS feeds to her AtoZ list.

Beyond Article Linking Using OpenURL in Creative Ways
by Morag Boyd, Sandy Roe, Sarah E. George
The Serials Librarian 2006 v50, 3/4 pg.221 - 226

OpenURL link resolvers are a popular library technology that connects users to services related to a particular item, such as the full-text of an article, the location of a print journal, an interlibrary loan form, and a related Web search. Librarians at Illinois State University discuss applications of openURL linking beyond connecting citations in online databases to the full-text of the article. These applications include use in the library's online catalog, bibliographies, and usage statistics.

Do You See RSS in Your Future?
by Paoshan Yue, Araby Greene, Lisa Blackwell
The Serials Librarian 2006 v50 3/4 pg. 305 - 310

Paoshan Yue and Araby Greene from the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries presented a broad overview of RSS, an XML technology in widespread use by bloggers and commercial industries to facilitate easy sharing of Web content. Librarians at the University of Nevada, Reno have begun to explore applications of this technology in the library setting. Several Reno Libraries pilot projects utilizing RSS technology were discussed. Finally, future applications of RSS in the serials world were postulated.

Adding RSS Feeds to Your Electronic Journal List

The Medical Librarian Maven, discusses her methods for adding RSS links to her electronic journals. While time consuming it was actually an easy process. She added the RSS feed as a custom link to the journal record in EBSCO AtoZ. Hmmm that sounds pretty good, and I suspect it would work with other similar systems like Serials Solutions. Ooooh wouldn't it be nice if EBSCO, Serials Solutions, etc. could do this automatically like they already do with the URLs to the journals.

What would be really cool is if you could add the RSS feed to the journal from the aggregator that you get full text from. For example, if you get the full text to a LWW title you could add Ovid's RSS feed of that journal to the list. I think you might be able to do that with PubMed. You could create the RSS feed for a specific journal (that you get from an aggregator) and place that feed into your AtoZ list (or simliar product). When the user can then use the RSS feed and be directed to the PubMed page listing the articles for that issue which also contains the library's LinkOut icon. Of course the user would have to remember to go beyond his/her feed reader when looking at the citations so that they could get the correct LinkOut icon.

Am I completely off base with this? While I used Serials Solutions at my previous library that was before RSS feeds became popular and my current library doesn't have a link resolver program yet (we will get one).

University of Chicago Press Journal Electronic Access Changes

From the electronic journal front.....
Peter Scott's Library Blog informs us that the University of Chicago Press Journals Division has decided to remove its content from the aggregated databases produced by Thomson Gale and ProQuest. Effective immediately, no new content published by the University of Chicago Press will be added to these databases. All content published by the University of Chicago Press will be removed from databases produced by Thomson Gale and ProQuest by May 15, 2007 and June 1, 2008, respectively.


2007 NLM Training

The 2007 schedule of NLM online search training classes is available.
These classes, and the rest of the 2006 classes, may be found at:

LinkOut Announcements Available as an RSS Feed

For those of you who use LinkOut you might be interested to know that the Library-LinkOut announcements are now available as RSS feed.

To subscribe, go to:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Data Mining, the Future of Internet Searching

Data mining, text mining, and topic modeling, welcome to what might be the future of Internet searching.

Data mining or text mining according to Wikipedia "refers generally to the process of extracting interesting and non-trivial information and knowledge (usually converted to metadata elements) from unstructured text (i.e. free text) stored in electronic form. This can be achieved either through added markup in XML, Atom or RDF formats or though the analysis of common phraseologies indicating certain relationships."

Once you have the data or text, topic modeling "organizes data into categories by tracking and tabulating words that appear together frequently. For the computer user, scanning those categorized results is like browsing through a bookstore instead of ordering a particular book online." (

This allows the research to spot trends and patterns. David Newman and other computer scientists at UC Irvine, have developed text mining software that searches large amounts of text without being told what to find. Newman says that text mining has made a sort of evolutionary jumb and "in just a few short years, it could become a common and useful tool for everyone from medical doctors to advertisers, from publishers to politicians."

The article, 'Data miners' at UCI moving beyond Google, by Colin Stewart, provides several examples on how text mining or data mining could be helpful to research. Two examples medical librarians might be interested in are the Google Library Project and medical research.
In Google Library Project text mining could help users find information amoung the digital records of millions of books from libraries at Stanford, Harvard and Oxford universities, the New York Public Library and elsewhere.

UCI computer scientists and UCI Medical School seek to find studies that could be linked to their research into schizophrenia. Using topic modeling on a database of 17 million medical research papers, they hope to find research that links genes and the brain regions involved in schizophrenia. Because of topic modeling's unique method of searching, researchers hope and expect to find information that is potentially useful regardless of whether the research is directly related to schizophrenia.

It is an interesting article and shows a new method of searching for information that is on the horizion. Something to read and keep in mind for the future.

Blog Posts of Interest to Medical Librarians

Sorry, I feel like I have been a little behind on my posts these last couple of weeks because I have been kind of busy at work (writing a grant to pay for a link resolver and digging out and cataloging a giant pile of books threatening to bury me). So bear with me while I direct you do some other good posts by fellow medical library bloggers.

David Rothman (who in my mind is a medical library RSS guru) has post, Medical RSS Directories, which he provides a brief review of four medical RSS feed directories.

Peter Scott (ok I cheated, he isn't a medical librarian) reports that January 1st 2007, the full text of articles in Blackwell Publishing journals will no longer be hosted on IngentaConnect. (AACK!) Libraries wishing to continue to provide online access to these journals should activate their access on Blackwell Synergy.

The Musings of a Medical Librarian Maven (a new medical library blog by Alexia Estabrook a hospital librarian) has two interesting posts. In the post Time management for the hospital librarian which she mentions how easy it is for a hospital librarian to get sidetracked from job duties and how she has found cueing to be helpful to get her back on task. In the post New website now available (and what it means for medical libraries), she talks about how the public may be confused into erroneously thinking they can waltz into a nearby medical library and check out a book.

Monday, August 07, 2006 Goes Live

OCLC has released which contains over 1.3 billion items in over 18,000 libraries worldwide. Basically, it is the super catalog in terms of amount of cataloged items. It is built into search engines such as Yahoo and Google. (Interesting note, when you search for Rosen's Emergency Medicine, worldcat is the first link displayed on Yahoo, but is burried in Google search results.)

Librarians can put the WorldCat search box on your site so that when your users visit your home page they can try looking WorldCat if your library doesn't have something.

Librarians can also provide a link so that users can add WorldCat to their browser toolbar

For more information on check out, What is WorldCat and See other ways you can use WorldCat.

Libraries interested in adding your library to WorldCat go to, Put your library in WorldCat.

Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries

The Library Technology NOW blog drew my attention the article Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries, by Jack M. Maness.

This article posits a definition and theory for "Library 2.0". It suggests that
recent thinking describing the changing Web as "Web 2.0" will have substantial
implications for libraries, and recognizes that while these implications keep
very close to the history and mission of libraries, they still necessitate a new
paradigm for librarianship. The paper applies the theory and definition to the
practice of librarianship, specifically addressing how Web 2.0 technologies such
as synchronous messaging and streaming media, blogs, wikis, social networks,
tagging, RSS feeds, and mashups might intimate changes in how libraries provide
access to their collections and user support for that access.

I know there are many people who are turned off by the just the term Library 2.0, however this is a very interesting article and whether or not you like the term, you have to agree that libraries must evolve with technology to provide user-centered and innovative services to stay relevant to our users. The plethora of technologies available on the web is just one many tools we librarians should be using to extend and broaden the library's services to its users.

Some of the topics this paper covers are Instant Messaging, Streaming Media, Blogs and Wikis, Social Networks, Tagging, RSS Feeds, and Mashups. Because I like to turn everything library related around to see how I can use in a medical library world, I have taken these concepts given them the Krafty Librarian medical twist.

Synchronous Messaging (Instant Messaging) - Library services have evolved from just email reference and FAQ pages to chat reference. Does that mean email reference is dead, no but there are other ways of communicating and connecting to your users. From a medical librarian perspective, I would like to think of this a virtual clinical librarian. Many librarians and doctors alike reminisce about how they used to have a clinical librarian with them as the rounded. The librarian would take notes and hand to the physician relevant research information on the patient's condition, surgery, treatment, etc. As budgets and time are stretched thin the traditional clinical medical librarian has become a rare sight. What about a virtual clinical medical librarian using chat ref. with rounding doctors? Or how about chat ref on the floors for nurses and other medical personnel?

Streaming Media - Simple text-based tutorials are being replaced with streaming media tutorials with interactive databases. NLM offers quick animated tutorials on PubMed. Webinars are quickly becoming the method for training, educating, and discussing issues with large groups of people over many locations. I have sat in on at least 5 webinars in the last 12 months that were either produced and run by library vendors to sell/educate me on their product or by library organizations for continuing education purposes. How best to teach a group of medical students, physicians, interns, etc. who are spread throughout the hospital and can't leave their area or who are located in various "off campus" facilities and doctor's offices the use of Medline, Google Scholar, EBM? A webinar would enable the librarian to sit in one location and teach many people at many locations.

Blogs, Wikis, and RSS Feeds - All three of these things seemed to go together as methods for mass communication and information. Static FAQ pages can easily be replaced by wikis. Online bulletin boards once the main method of mass web communication are now joined by blogs and wikis. RSS feeds tie them all together. Users can subscribe to many blogs web site feeds and easily monitor information without clogging their email. No longer do you have to click on CNN Health, MSNBC Health, Reuters Health, JAMA, NEJM, etc. to get the latest medical/health news and information. Many medical libraries already have blogs on the home pages informing users of new databases, updates in the library, and pertinent information. Using RSS feeds they integrate some important medical news feeds (examples: JAMA, NEJM, NIH) directly on to their library home pages, helping their users keep up to date. PubMed already offers users the option to save searches as RSS feeds, allowing medical researchers yet another method of finding and retrieving medical literature. David Rothman has a lot of examples and offers great advice on how you can make the PubMed RSS feeds work for you AND your library users. I have noticed that many librarians get a little wiggy on the idea of wikis. The idea of the masses having free reign to edit and post information on website and then to use that website as a valid source of information, has many shivering like they are hearing a tape loop of nails down a blackboard. However, wikis do have their place as a resource for collaborative information and research NIH is looking at wikis to help "employees cooperate and foster teamwork within the agency and among its partners." NASA employees rely on a wiki to modify open-source code in its satellite imagery software, World Wind.

Social Networks - According to Maness social networks are "perhaps the most promising and embracing technology discussed here. They enable messaging, blogging, streaming media, and tagging." You would have to be living in a cave to have not heard of MySpace and FaceBook. Maybe those specific networks are not appropriate for the medical library world, but there is no need to shoot the whole category in the head. LibraryThing is an example of a social network more which enables users to catalog their books, view another's collection. Perhaps consumer health libraries could really exploit something like LibraryThing, catalog of consumer health books. Libraries can compare their holdings against other similar libraries and swap reading and collection development suggestions. Is that all that different from the static Brandon Hill List everybody used to use. Granted the Brandon Hill List (and now Doody's Core Titles) was a group of books that were evaluated, selected, and recommended by professionals, but with a little bit of adjustment the list and LibraryThing could work very well together. For example, I would be very interested to see what other Osteopathic hospital libraries are buying for their patrons. I was able to find one medical library, Community and Mission Hospitals of Huntington Park (CMHP) using LibraryThing, take a look at their LibraryThing catalog.

Tagging - This is another thing that causes many a librarian to twitch and gnash their teeth. Average normal library users (and your average infrequent user that you are trying to get in the library) pretty much have no clue (nor do they care) about controlled vocabulary or classification systems. LC, NLM, and Dewey mean absolutely nothing to most of them, very few only see them as ways of shelving the books in some sort of organized manner. Tagging allows the user to create subject headings for the objects. As Maness mentions, in LibraryThing people tag books, and participate in the cataloging process. The Library 2.0 catalog incorporates both standardized subjects as well as user tagged terms. According to Maness, "the user responds to the system, the system to the user. This tagged catalog is an open catalog, a customized, user-centered catalog. It is library science at its best." Medical libraries using Innovative Interfaces will perhaps see this in the 2007. In notes from the Innovative Interfaces User Meeting 2006 (pg 8) Terry Resse reports, Millennium Encore (available 2007) will sit on top of the Millennium server will include community tagging, ratings, and reviews. "- Tagging (Folksonomies) – augments, but does not replace, controlled vocabularies, responsive to change, supports unlimited paths of access, supports disagreement over "aboutness." If III is adding it to their future system updates, you better believe companies are planning to as well.

Mashups - Kind of like their name implies, they are hybrid applications, where multiple programs, technologies, services, etc. are put together to create a new product. Some mashup examples are:
  • Podbop, a mashup that allows people to users to choose a city and listen to legally available music from bands playing in town that day and in the future.
  • 4isbn, a mashup that allows users to search for books by ISBN using an application built on the Amazon APIs.
  •, a mashup is a book finding service using z3950 library information and Amazon web services.
  • bookjetty, a mashup that allows users to search Amazon books with Singapore National Library Board catalogue information.

Mashups are continuing to proliferate. Why, human nature, we love tinkering around with something to make it better. In fact Talis has a Mashing Up the Lirary competition for all those "users of libraries who have ever wished they could bringinformationn from their library to life outside the virtual walls of its web site and for all those librarians who have contemplated enriching their OPAC with maps, reviews, jacket images, or folksonomies." Submissions are due Friday August 18, 2006. It will be interesting to see the winners.

As you can see Library 2.0 is not just a term for the public and academic librarians. Medical librarians also need to look at ways of extending themselves and can do so using these tools and a little creativity. Perhaps there are other examples of how medical libraries can use Web 2.0 tools, I look forward to hearing any comments. I specifically would love to know how medical libraries could use image tagging applications like Flickr, finding good medical images on the web is a pain and I wonder if this might help.

Now for the yucky part.... The sad but true part is that many hospital libraries are never going to be able to fully participate in these tools. The reason, their own institutions, the hospitals they serve, discourage and prohibit a lot of these tools on their networks. For example, there are many hospitals firewalls block all multi mediacomingg into the institution. How can a library take advantage of great instructional videos or teach using webinars when their own institution prohibits their use? I have talked to manya loty librarians who can not even create their own intranet (or Internet) library web page. Those that can are forced to use the institution's content management system that does not allow users to see and edit the HTML let alone support things like blogs, wiki, or RSS feeds. Because the parent organization has such tight control over technology and the Internet, the medical libraries suffer. I mentioned to another medical techie librarian that to many hospital librarians the concept of Library 2.0 is foreign to them because they are still at Library .5. Being an academic librarian he mentioned that perhaps those libraries need to fade away, implying that it was all of the library's fault for being stuck behind the technology curve. As an academic librarian he clearly has not experienced the absolute hair pulling, binge drinking, frustrations that some progressive hospital librarians feel because their institution actively thwarts all technological progress in the interest of security.

What can I say to librarians who are stuck with suffocating hospital IT departments? I guess the only thing I can say is that I too am one of you and the way I have been trying to deal with it and make change (so I don't just fade away) is to make your needs known constantly. Become a thorn (but a polite thorn) in the side of your IT department, andpersistentlyy tell them why you AND THE HOSPITAL NEEDS this stuff. Be prepared, have lots of documentation and examples, and prepared for their skepticism and rejection. Just don't give up.

Library Technology NOW 2.0

Library Technology NOW has launched the beta of Library Technology NOW 2.0, an online social networking site with the purpose of bringing library people together to discuss technology. Adam Wright, President of the Library Technology NOW Editorial Board said, “Our hope is that individuals interested in library technology will use Library Technology NOW 2.0, and our other Web 2.0 tools, to share news, opinions and wisdom with each other. It is a logical evolution to our more traditional website.” The other tools that my be of interest include:
LTN Wishlist where people can share their library technology wishes with each other. LTN Question and Answer is described as an “Advice” column for library technology run by library peers. LTN Review It is a less structured approach to the traditional library technology reviews.
There isn't a lot of content on LTN 2.0 but it was just released July 27. It appears that it is targeted primarily at academic and public libraries. However as the site grows, those of you medical librarians interested in technology might find some interesting topics to keep up to date on. Just because they are doing something public libraries does not necessarily mean it can't be done in medical/hospital libraries. Perhaps it can, it just needs to be tweeked a little bit to fit into our area of librarianship.

Friday, August 04, 2006

BMJ News

BMJ's August 2006 Newsletter is out and it contains information on 2007 subscription rates, impact factors, online user guides, changes to Clinical Evidence, BMJ Learning, Unlocked (open choice) institutional repositories.

2007 Subscription Prices:
Prices have increased on average 6%
The tier pricing structure has changed for online subscriptions to BMJ journals and Clinical Evidence
Small 1-400 relevant FTEs
Medium 401-1500 relevent FTEs
Large 1501-3000 relevant FTEs
Over 3001 relevant FTEs must contact BMJ for price quote.

Note: BMJ defines a relevant FTE:
  • Academic Institutions: Total number of medical faculty (academic staff and students) and researchers.
  • Hospitals: Total number of clinicians, pharmacists and researchers (excluding nurses).
  • Corporate institutions: Total number of researchers and medical information employees.
  • Government institutions, regulatory agencies, medical societies and all others: Total number of professionally qualified staff.

Impact Factors:
The majority of BMJ journals impact factors have increased, overall all 23 journals the average impact factor increased by 15%. For specific journals go to the newsletter.

Online User Guides:
New users guides for BMJ journals (including BMJ) and Clinical Evidence are available to download or order.

Changes to Clinical Evidence:

  • Clinical Evidence now summarizes over 200 conditions and 2,000 treatments.
  • Clinical Evidence print edition to discontinue, the last printed issue is June 2006 issue 15. The full text will only be available online.
  • Pricing structure has changed to tier pricing (see 2007 pricing above)
  • Improvments for the user: improved key messages and topic summaries,
    expert comment on clinical relevance of findings and strength of evidence,
    RSS feeds, chapters report results by clinical outcome

BMJ Learning:
Provides learning for professionals in primary care and hospital medicine and has been available for institutions to purchase since Feb. 2006.

Unlocked and Institutional Respositories -BMJ Journals:
Unlocked is an open choice option (available Jan. 2007) for authors who opt to apy a fee to make their papers freely available online upon publication. See the newsletter for fees for specific journals.

BMJ's policy for institutional repositories is that authors are permitted to deposit the author version of the accepted manuscript on their insitution's or a subject based respository immediately. HOWEVER they must abide by a 6 month embargo (from the date of print publication) before their manuscript can be free to all. ***Thanks BMJ that isn't confusing or anything.

MLA's Educational Webcast Agenda

The agenda for Moving at the Speed of Byte: Emerging Technologies for Information Management, MLA's Educational Webcast November 8, 2006, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., central time, is available.

It looks to have a lot of things packed into the two hours. Some of the topics that will be discussed are Blogs, RSS feeds, Podcasts, Wikis, Technology forecasting, Electronic medical record, Mobile technologies, Biomedical informatics, and Nano technology.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, 2006-2007

(reposted from hls-list mailing list)
Hospital librarians with appropriate experience and career goals are especially encouraged to consider application to the following opportunity.

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries is pleased to announce the 2006-2007 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine and AAHSL. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, focused on preparing emerging leaders for director positions in academic health center libraries, offers the opportunity to work closely with a mentor and to work collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. Applicants with management experience in academic health center libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings are encouraged. The multi-faceted program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community.

Jo Dorsch, 2003-2004 fellow, said, "The fellowship created an instant nationwide network fueled by the shared experience. The relationships I developed with my mentor and the fellows continue to evolve and are a valued source of advice, support, and friendship."

The deadline for applications for fellows and mentors for the 2006-2007 class is August 18, 2006.
For more information, see

Technology Column Editors Needed

(from Medlib)
The Journal of Hospital Librarianship is looking for two editors for the Technology column. There are presently two editors for the column who would like to expand the number of editors so that each person would be responsible for only one column per year.

The responsibilities of the editors are to solicit articles from colleagues on some aspect of technology used in libraries-especially hospital libraries or something that can be adapted for use in hospital libraries. The editor is also welcome to write the column if s/he chooses.
We are especially interested in having a MLS student try his/her hand at writing/editing a column. One of the goals of the Editorial Board is mentoring new authors and we thought it might be interesting to also mentor a student editor. The student editor position would be for one year (rather than at will) but it could be renewed if the student (new grad?) wished to remain in the position.

JHL is a quarterly publication and the next deadline dates are October 10, December 10, March 10. For further information, contact either the Editor, Carole Gilbert
[email protected], or the column editors Soraya Assar at [email protected] or Barbara Platts at [email protected].

This is a perfect opportunity for medical librarians who are interested in technology and writing. I know there are a few of you out there :) this is a way to get out there and help our profession get more tech. savy.

Searching for Medical Information Online...Washington Post Article

The Washington Post article, A 10-Year Checkup: A Decade Into the E-Health Era, Online Medical Resources Pass a Real-Life Test, looks at searching the Internet to find information on Google, Google Co-op, MedlinePlus, and WebMD. The author mentions that while he did come across dangerous or misinformation, he felt it was easy to avoid. "The Internet has matured to a point where the millions of people seeking medical information can prepare themselves for a serious medical encounter with speed and confidence."

What I found interesting is his use of Google Co-p. He found it while searching Google that it provided suggestions for narrowing his topic and filter results by clicking on such choices as diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, clinical trials, etc. It enabled him to drill down to find information that was a little more in depth than many of the authoritive reputable consumer sites he had found. Hmm perhaps my (Krafty's) thoughts on tagging in Google Co-op health might be worth revisiting after I get a chance to play with it a little more again.

This article fits in with a recent report released from Harris Interactive stating "80% of respondents with Internet access said that they have sought health care information online, compared with 72% in 2005. In addition, 61% of respondents with Internet access said that they sought health care information online "sometimes or often," compared with 58% in 2005, the survey finds. About 25% of respondents who sought health care information online said that they considered the data "very reliable," compared with 37% in 2005."

It appears more and more consumers are looking for more health information and perhaps they are getting better at finding more reliable information. So what does this mean for us as librarians. Personally, I think it means that many of the users that will/are coming to us have already done their preliminary investigations online. So we not only have to find the really tricky stuff that is buried or difficult to find (ala the Invisible Web) but we also have to do a better job of conducting reference interviews. We need to start asking them if they have already looked on the Internet and what sites (if they remember) and what kind of information did they find and what do they want you to find now that they haven't been able to find.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

NCLIS Report Tracks Libraries and Health Information Initiative

The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) released their report about libraries and health information from a forum held in May for the NCLIS Health Information Awards for Libraries. The report provides information submitted by applicants for the awards, including program descriptions and contact information for the finalists and the state winners. It also includes a summary of the trends and issues regarding libraries serving the community health needs through things such as outreach, partnerships, health literacy, and web initiatives. (Reported in special issues of Library Trends 2004 and 2005 and a supplement in the Journal of the Medical Library Association 2005).

Nature Society Journals Open Access

According their August 1, 2006 press release the Nature academic and society journals will be opening access to all online content published before January 2003. From January 2007, site license access to any NPG publication will include content from the current year plus a four year rolling archive. The exception to this rule are those journals which already offer an open archive after 12 months.
Nature journals will not have an open archive. Starting in 2007 current subscribers to Nature and it's siblings such as Nature Medicine will have content for the current year and a four year rolling archive. Archive content (older than the recent 4 years) will be available to purchase. HOWEVER, site license subscribers prior to 2006 will have post cancellation rights to all the current licensed content (e.g. back to 1997).

So there you have it, clear as mud. If it is a society journal published by NPG you might archival access after 12 months or 4 years depending on the journal. If it is a Nature journal then you don't get any free archival access.

Personally, I would just like for Nature to list on their site which journals have archival access after 12 months and which have it after 4 years. That would make my life a little easier and quite possibly theirs too because you know they are always going to get questions from people as to why this journal isn't available and that one is.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Cleveland Public Library Offers Live Interactive Health Info

The Cleveland Public Library in conjunction with The MetroHealth Medical Center, developed a section of the Know It Now website for patients where they can discuss ask about medical matters. Users can remail completely anonymous and can interact live with a nurse, 24-7. Those living in Ohio may be more familiar with Know It Now as a free chat reference service to the citizens of Ohio by the State Library of Ohio and local public libraries.

I applaud the idea of adding medical professionals to help answer medical questions, I think it is a great service. However, I feel a little out of the loop. If you look at the list of Know it Now participating libraries you will notice that they are all public libraries, not one of them is a hospital, medical, or consumer health library. So where are the nurses who are answering the medical questions getting their answers and resources?

According to the Know it Now medical information article, "Metrohealth has developed a collaboration with the Cleveland Public Library in which the on-line information can be screened so it's good reliable information for the consumer." I know Cleveland Public is a B-I-G library system and they probably have a consumer health librarian, but I feel there is a lot that we medical/health librarians might have been and still might be able to contribute. I have been in medical libraries in Cleveland and a member of the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System (known as CAMLS now the newly formed NEO-RLS) for over 8 years and I was completely unaware of this until I read Next Generation in On-line Medical Information. Was I totally asleep to the Cleveland library world?!! Perhaps I am/was. Perhaps the librarian at Metrohealth is involved and it just isn't mentioned in the article because it isn't as "cool" to the public to have medical librarian answering your questions as it is to have a medical professiona doing itl.

What would be interesting to know is if there are other public online chat refs that combine medical professionals and health/medical librarians to help answer questions.

Ovid's Resource of the Month

It is August, and the first thing that comes to mind is ice cream. If you are at the University of Missouri's Food Science Ice Cream Research you might already know of the FSTA Database which is Ovid's Resource of the Month.
FSTA, the Food Science & Technology Abstracts, is a collection of abstracts prepared from the world's food science, food technology and food-related human nutrition literature. It includes food-relevant information from scientific journals, patents, books, conference proceedings, reports, theses, standards, legislation, and concise comprehensive summaries. The summaries provide busy food professionals with new developments and research in the food community focusing on every stage of the food chain. Contains over 600,000 bibliographic records from 1969 to date.

Go to Ovid to learn more about FSTA

Go to Ovid to try it now!

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The Krafty Librarian has been a medical librarian since 1998. She is currently the medical librarian for a hospital system in Ohio. You can email her at: